Watford manager Quique Flores says 'strong and wonderful' Odion Ighalo was the undoing of West Ham

Watford Vicarage Road

The Spaniard heaped praise on the 'very strong' striker Odion Ighalo, who hit both of Watford's goals in their 2-0 win against West Ham at Vicarage Road

Watford manager Quique Flores has heaped praise on his “wonderful” Nigerian hitman Odion Ighalo, who hit both goals in Watford's 2-0 victory over West Ham this weekend.

The result was arguably the shock of this weekend's Premier League action, given the fact that the Hornets had only managed to score eight goals in 10 matches approaching this fixture, and that West Ham were enjoying a run of seven league matches without defeat.

However, Ighalo, who was rumoured to be on the verge of leaving Vicarage Road this summer having seemingly failed to convince the Watford management team of his worth, scored two goals either side of half-time, to wrap up an impressive win.

Unsurprisingly, Flores was full of praise for his striker after the match, and he paid testament to his physical attributes, which made playing a counter-attacking, lone-striker system possible.

“Ighalo is a wonderful man and a very important player for us,” the Spaniard told the Daily Mail.

“He does not need a lot of support because his psychology is very strong and sometimes we need to give him space.

“He can play close to the box, at the back of the goal, in front of the goal, in lots of different areas. He can keep the ball, score with his head, and has a lot of qualities, so for us he is a very important player.”

Flores will be particularly pleased with the blistering form of Ighalo (who now has 23 goals in 29 league games this calendar year) because club captain Troy Deeney, who netted 21 times in the Championship last season and averaged a goal every other game, was once again unable to find the target.

Deeney's barren run was finally ended against Stoke last time out but playing in a withdrawn role behind the lone hitman Ighalo, the 27-year-old did not add to his tally against West Ham, despite having a penalty appeal ignored by referee Keith Stroud, before blazing over from just outside the area when he would have hoped to have done better.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch